Sledging to champions like Brian Lara, Sachin Tendulkar, Steve Waugh is never a good idea for it spurs them on more than ever to perform to their truest potential, and former Aussie captain Ricky Ponting learned it the hard way during the 2000 Adelaide Test against the West Indies.
Former Australian batsman Ricky Ponting recently shared the commentary box with the legendary Brian Lara in the ongoing Big Bash League where he narrated an incident where he had tried to sledge the Windies swashbuckler.
The incident that Ponting alluded to was from the 2000 Adelaide Test where Lara had started off slowly, having come into bat with the score reading 3/86.
“We were playing a Test match in Adelaide, and he literally wasn’t playing a shot. He’d been going on for like 30-40 balls. And I said to him, ‘you’re setting the place alight today, Brian. You’re absolutely creaming them mate. You’re putting everyone to sleep,’” Ricky Ponting recalled on 7Cricket.
Ponting’s words came back to bite him as Brian Lara soon got into his act and creamer a nonchalant 235-ball 182- an innings which included 29 fours and a six.
“An hour and a half later, he was on 180 not out. And at the end of the game, he signed his shirt and wrote, ‘thanks for the inspiration. Best wishes, Brian Lara’,” Ponting added.
Even though West Indies went on to lose the Test match by five wickets, Brian Lara’s century was a hallmark of what was a pretty one-sided match and the series.
It was his sixth Test ton against Australia. The previous ones included a 277 in Sydney (1993) and a match-winning 213 in Kingston followed by a 153 in the next Test in Barbados. Five years post his 182, he would go on to score a 226 at the same venue.
Overall, Lara played a total of 31 Tests against Australia, scoring 2856 runs at an average of 51 with nine three-figure scores.